As hard as it is to grasp, the Spring Grove/Caledonia softball regular season came to a close over the weekend after the Lions finished another marathon week of games, playing six games in five days.
The good news is that the Lions finished with a flash, going 5-1 to improve their overall record to 13-7 going into Monday’s 1AA subsection game at home against GMLOK. With their 13-7 record the Lions were given the #2 seed, while Cotter is the #1 seed. A win Monday would send the Lions to play either Saint Charles or Dover-Eyota Wednesday, May 22.
The Lions started the week May 13 with a double-header sweep of Southland at Spring Grove, 3-1 and 6-1. In game one the Lions scored three times in the first inning and then gave up just one run to Southland in the top of the third to get the win. In the first Lottie Augedahl drew a two-out walk and Samantha Bratland singled. Lauren Rusert and Taylor Augedahl followed with base hits to give the Lions a 3-0 lead.
In the third Southland got a run, but Bratland struck out the next two. Hailey Kiefer reached on an error on Taylor Augedahl, and Maddie Loecher reached on another error, this one by Bratland that allowed Barnes to score for the 3-1 score that held up the rest of the game. In the win Bratland struck out 11 and gave up just two hits. Marie Doering was 2×4, Cara Stemper was 2×2 with a walk and Lottie Augedahl was 1×2 with a walk.
The Lions then got the sweep with a 6-1 win as they scored twice in the first, three times in the sixth and once more in the seventh for the win. On May 16 the team beat Dover-Eyota 6-1 at home. After D-E scored a run in the first the Lions scored twice in the third as Lottie Augedahl reached on a fielder’s choice and Bratland tripled to score Augedahl. Bratland later scored to give SG/C a 2-1 lead.
A single by Teresa Becker in the fourth inning scored Alexy Bearbower for a 3-1 lead. The Lions added three more in the sixth as Bearbower singled, Becker and Doering both reached on back-to-back errors and Stemper singled scoring Bearbower and Becker. Doering later scored for the 6-1 final.
The next day the Lions played Lewiston-Altura and scratched out a 2-0 win, scoring both runs in the third inning. Matison Scanlan was hit by a pitch and Doering singled. Stemper reached on an error to load the bases, and Lottie Augedahl walked scoring Scanlan. Doering then scored on a grounder to first by Rusert, and the Lions got two runs on four hits while Bratland struck out 10 in the win, throwing just 69 pitches in the game – 52 of them strikes.
On May 18 the Lions traveled to Preston for a double-header with Fillmore Central/Lanesboro and lost their only game of the week when the Falcons won game two 3-2.
In game one the Lions rolled to a 12-1 win in five innings, scoring six times in the fifth inning. Already leading 6-1, SG/C put together a big fifth inning after Bearbower reached on an error and Angie Augedahl walked. Scanlan singled and Doering hit into a fielder’s choice, but Stemper followed with a 2 RBI base hit and Lottie Augedahl’s single scored another run.
Bratland then drove in another run with a fly ball to left field and Rusert followed with a two-out base hit that drove in another run. Bearbower then reached on an error that allowed Rusert to score the sixth run of the inning and give the Lions a 12-1 win.
The Falcons got a win in game two after they battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game at 2-2 in the third inning.
Tied 2-2 the game moved into the seventh where the Falcons pushed a run across as Erickson doubled and moved to third on a passed ball and then scored on another passed ball to give the Falcons a 3-2 lead.
Bearbower singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh for the Lions, but SG/C couldn’t get a run in as Scanlan grounded out and Emily Ranzenberger popped up to first to end the game.
If the Lions win their first two games of the tournament they will play at Saint Charles this Friday at 5 p.m.
– Brady Ambrose